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saturday, september 22, 2001
day 1, too weird

yes, i was going to write this yesterday but i was too swamped and too tired by the time i was done...and still swamped. first day of classes and the insanity has already begun. over 350 pages of reading alone (i've been telling everyone 250 pages but just added them up and was waaaaaaaayyyyy off) with a paper due tuesdays and another one to be in progress. the worst news: most the books i need to read won't be here until monday (so monday night i will be reading an entire 180+ pg novel and writing the paper that's due the next morning). the second worst news: i still don't have the extra class i need and may not until the end of next week. the instructor (probably wisely) doesn't add new students in full classes until a registered student has been absent for 2 days in a row.

the first thing i noticed on campus this quarter were the cell phones. not that they were uncommon before, but this year the campus seems to have experienced a cell phone explosion: almost everyone i looked at had one attached to their ear. we used to have a dual cell phone account ~ then the charges went over $500 and i said, 'no more cell phone'. i do not know how anyone can afford the damn things while being a student.

then came the usual round of finding classrooms and meeting new instructors and a few weirdoes along the way. or, at least one weirdo...a very specific 'thank god he isn't staying in the class' weirdo. writers are generally considered odd, eccentric and all this, but this guy would fall into the 'stoned and too weird even for a writer' category.

so a run down of the day (and to introduce you to names that may be showing up in whysper for the next 10 weeks)...

first class of the day is intermediate writing, taught by prof. mckown. he didn't seem prepared, but covered well and ran a pretty lively lecture. however, one of the later students..oh my lord. his responses to questions and comments in the discussion barely touched the topic, if we were lucky. most times he was off somewhere else entirely. by the end of the class it was all i could do to keep from physically dropping my head on my desk and shaking it back and forth, it was that bad (and most friends will tell you i am fairly tolerant of tangents..heck i do tangents, but this went way beyond tangent). bits and pieces of his attempts to participate: an author is out to win his girl, all the pretty girls in the class had him all 'excited' (not that we were impressed and we really didn't want to know what he meant by excited), and most of his statements implied that fiction writing was by men and for men. yea, a real winner. fortunately, he apparently didn't take the beginning writing class (although it took three or four tries asking the question to figure that out since he apparently had no idea if he took it or not) and he's out of the class. not sure whether to cheer because we won't have him disrupting the conversation or because we won't be subjected to his pirate story.

at any rate, no books for that class yet because he had hoped to be able to photocopy stuff for us..and then found he was limited to 100 copies for the quarter. syllabus is forthcoming, and he will probably make a cheap, printed reader or something that won't cost $50+.

women writers, taught by prof. macpike, is going to be a working class..really working. first novel is to be read by tuesday (it's short, 180 pages, but i don't get it until monday) with the first paper due tuesday morning. 9 papers due through the (may i remind you, ten week) quarter (8 one pagers and one longer one). she's an older lady and very strict. nothing particularly interesting about the class yet. (but then it's a lit class so *shrug*)

then i had to rush to see if the advanced writing class subject would be fiction again next quarter. the instructor says as long as he's teaching it will be. with this done it was time for lunch and then a meeting with my councilor to let him know that i wasn't going to be able to do the credential and mfa simultaneously (he was looking for info on that for me).

english in the secondary classroom, taught by prof rushing (she has a very cool first name...i may use it in a story), is another working class..hard working. 4 papers, 4 journals on the reading, and at least one observation. this is the class i am waiting to get into as its full and she won't add anyone until someone has been absent twice in the first week. since i actually went and spoke to her before class, my name is at the top of the list, so if only one person drops..i'm in baby. pray for me. (well, pray for me anyway, the workload looks to be horrendous).

finally is american lit 2 with prof. atkinson. she admitted to being learning disabled and adhd (and it was very evident, the woman could not stand still!), with a bachelor's and 2 m.a.'s. i had seen her around last quarter but this is the first time i have her in a class.

all in all i have high workload classes with strict instructors. this is going to be a miserable quarter, even though most of them had wonderful personalities. and i still have a psych class to go to on monday.

speaking of which..psych reading is calling to me.

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